another instance he equates the term with the geological `Cambrian explosion' (p. 61) or as `transformative developments that generate the unique conditions for accelerated formation of customary international law' (p. 212). At the same time, his account of customary international law formation differs little from any standard textbook (pp. 29-58), providing little insight into the innovation of his analysis, when he identifies `a context of fundamental change' as a `third factor' in identifying customary international law (p. 211). Overall, it remains unclear how his description of various paradigm shifts in international law may `provide a prism for assessing whether the case studies examined in the book and other situations constitute legitimate Grotian Moments' (p. 11). It is exactly such a methodological framework that the reader misses in Scharf's book. The work is very well-written, in a more essayist than treatise style, and makes for an easy and quick read. However, the fact that Scharf finds it sufficient to deal with topics by uncritically reproducing random secondary literature wherever it fits in between judgments, documents, and speeches, is irritating at points throughout the text, just as is his reference to more theoretical studies on the formation of customary international
Austrian Review of International and European Law – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2016
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